is one of the most attractive destinations in China, a showpiece
of China's natural and cultural wonders. Yunnan province is ranging
from tropical rain forests on the South to the Tibetan highlands
on the North. It has an enormous variety of flora and fauna. Yunnan
is the home of 25 ethnic minority groups with colorful cultures
and traditions. Half of China's plant and animal species can be
found in Yunnan. Most parts of Yunnan are warm in winter and cool
in summer, which makes it an ideal destination to travel to at
any time of the year. . Due to its historically remote frontier
position, bordered with Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar, and due to
its rich ethnic mixture, Yunnan has its own attractive and relaxed
identity, and something to offer to each traveler.
We design made-to-measure tours to Yunnan,
South West China and Tibet. We believe that Yunnan should
be the main part to every tour to China. The tours on our
website are just a sample and can be tailor made depending
on your budget, schedule and interests.
Yunnan Weather & Climate
varied and diverse climate means that, while Kunming enjoys pleasant
spring-like weather for most of the year, the elevated eastern
plateau experiences warm summers and mild winters, and the climate
can change substantially during a journey of just a few kilometres.
To the west, the valley floors and lower slopes of this mountainous
area enjoy warm humid weather, while a temperate zone stands between
2,000 to 3,000 metres, and ice and snow envelop the high summits.
Monsoons off the Pacific and Indian oceans provide adequate rainfall,
with May through October the wettest months.
Geography of Yunnan
Province is the continuation of the Tibetan plateau and occupies
an area of 394,000sqkm, similar in size to the US State of California.
With the Himalayas dominating the north, and the equatorial tropics
warming the southern areas, the area's geographical features are
diverse and spectacular. Yunnan shares a western border with Myanmar
and a southern border with Laos and Vietnam. Two geographically
different regions are divided by the Ai-lao Mountains: a limestone
plateau to the east, and a mountainous area with several peaks
above 5,000 metres, to the west. The highest point is the 6,740-metre
Kagebo Peak on the Yunnan-Tibet border. The torrential rivers
are too swift for navigation, but have huge largely untapped hydroelectric
potential. The elevation of the eastern plateau varies from 2,130
metres at its western end, to 1,370 metres on the Kweichow border,
where intermountain basins and broad fertile valleys facilitate
intensive farming. More than 40 freshwater lakes, the highest
number in Southwest China, lie in geological faults on the plateau.
Larger lakes include Dianchi, Erhai, Fuxian, Yangzonghai and Lagu.
About 30 percent of the land area is forested, and is home to
a large variety of flora and fauna.
the plains of Yunnan were originally the home to numerous aboriginal
tribes, Chinese invasions over several centuries pushed them into
mountainous areas, where many ethnic groups, direct descendants
of those original tribes live today. The powerful Tai kingdom
of Nanchao held sway over Yunnan for 247 years, during the Tang
dynasty (AD 618-907), but was replaced by the Dali Kingdom in
937AD. For 300 years, Dali ruled supreme until, in 1253, in was
over-run by Kublai Khan's Mongol hordes and assimilated into his
growing empire. The take-over turned out to have many positive
effects. The capital was moved to Kunming, trade with the rest
of the empire stimulated the local economy, living standards improved,
and ethnic relations harmonised. Kunming had become a prosperous
city by the time Marco Polo arrived, and was renowned for its
skilled craftsmen. During the 14th century, several hundred thousand
troops, civilians, and officials were despatched to the province
by the Ming Court to set up military outposts and reclaim land.
Agriculture, mining, and social development all benefited from
the influx of expertise. In the mid-17th century, Manchurian troops
occupied most of the central areas of China, and the Qing Dynasty
took the reigns of power in Yunnan. China's national power was
weakened after it lost the Opium War in 1840, and Yunnan was yielded
to British and French imperialism - the French building the Hanoi-Kunming
railway line to exploit the province's resources. The British
occupied territory in northwestern Yunnan, and forced China to
concede territory in what is now the Myanmar state of Kachin.
During the Sino-Japanese War (1937-45),
manufacturing, education and government bodies moved to
Kunming, promoting the growth of industry and the development
of natural resources. Kunming became major US Air Force
base during WWII, and Yunnan was a main transit route for
On October 1, 1949, Mao Tse Tung announced
the founding of the People's Republic of China and Yunnan
was peacefully taken over by Red Army troops under General
Lu Han on December 9, 1949. In March 1950, the People's
Government of Yunnan Province was established. The Cultural
Revolution and the Second Indochina War were both trying
times for the province, but - as with many periods in its
history - after taking the knocks, the province has come
back stronger than ever. Large-scale economic development
has taken place and great efforts have been made to increase
trading capacity, stabilise prices, and enhance living standards
in both urban and rural areas. With its forward-looking
policies, natural resources, physical beauty and tourist
potential, Yunnan is set for an impressive future.
Getting to Yunnan and Around
To get to Yunnan Province, travelers
must know about Kunming, since it is the transportation
hub of Yunnan. Kunming, as capital of Yunnan, performs
an important gateway, linking China to South East Asia,
South Asia and Pacific region.
Xishuangbanna International Airport,
4km from Jinghong city, was designed to accommodate airplanes
from Boeing 737 down. 11 domestic air routes from Jinghong
have been opened, including Kunming, Beijing, Shanghai,
Chengdu, Tianjin, Zhengzhou and Guangxi, and two international
routes to Bangkok and Chiang Mai in Thailand. Kunming
also connects Yunnan with Hong Kong, Rangoon, Vientiane,
Over a decade ago, the mileage
of Yunnan highways has reached 65,800 km, second only
to Sichuan Province in China, among which there are 7
national highway lines, 6,081km; 61 provincial lines,
8,971km; county - level highway lines, 30,950km and country
roads, 19,757 km, and now highways lead to every township.
Ten thousand length of highway in Kunming link Yunnan
with other provinces and other countries.
Railways also link Yunnan with
other places. Current railway in Yunnan consists of Guiyang-Kunming,
Chengdu-Kunming, Neijiang-Kunming, Yunnan-Vietnam, Kunming-Yuxi
Yunnan Province is huge. Train
travel requires much more time than air travel. However,
if you are not in a hurry, train travel offers beautiful
scenery along the way.
Train tickets can be booked in
most hotels in Kunming city or you can book tickets 7
days prior to your departure at a railway station ticket
office, 08:00 to 17:30.
There are six main water connections
in Yunnan. Jinghong and Simao ports open to the outside world.
Many rivers open for commercial international trade with neiboring
countries. Cang River with its lower reaches called Mekong is
the only international river linking 6 countries in Asia.
Kunming International Airport
Located at Wujiaba in the southeast suburbs of Kunming, about
6.5km from Kunming.
Address: 146, Dongfeng Dong Lu, Kunming
Airport Transportation: The airport is 5 km south of the
city center (Dongfeng Square). To get to the airport by
taxi usually costs about RMB15 and takes 20 minutes. Bus
No. 52 runs from Daguan Tower via the main railway station
to the airport. Also, bus No.67 runs by the north railway
station via the main railway station. Lastly, bus No.78
runs between the airport and the north railway station
via the municipal government building. Most of the above
buses are available from 6am to 10pm.
Xishuangbanna International Airport
Location: Located 4km south of Jinghong
Yunnan Facts at a Glance
|| 394,000 sq.km.
| Capital City
|| Approximately 41 Million
|| Mandarin. A local dialect
is also spoken, not understood by outsiders. Outside
large hotels, very little English is spoken
|| Buddhism, Taoism, Islam
|| Varies widely according
to latitude and elevation, from subtropical in the south,
to high tundra in northern areas.
| Local Time
|| GMT +8
|| Chinese Renminbi (RMB)
is the medium of exchange. The basic unit of RMB is
yuan, in denominations of 100, 50, 10, 5, 2 and 1. The
yuan is divided into 10 jiao, which is further divided
into 10 fen.
| Credit Cards
|| Accepted in large hotels,
but generally not in wide use.
| Business Hours
|| Government Offices:
Businesses: 8:30-12:00, 14:30-18:00;
Banks: 8:30-12:00, 14:30-18:00.
Post Offices: 08:00-19:00 hrs
|| Travellers cheques and
currencies may be exchanged into Yuan in major banks
|| Small tips are expected,
in addition to hotel and restaurant service charges.
|| 220V, 50 Hz
| Tourist Information
|| Yunnan Airlines - Bangkok:
(66-2) 2163067-8; email: firstname.lastname@example.org Air China
-Kunming: (86-761) 2730022; Bangkok: (66-2) 6310731-4;
Hanoi: (84-4) 8269233
Yunnan Provincial Tourism Administration -Tel: (86-871)
3543560, 3545832; Fax: (86-871) 3517048
Yunnan Travel Map